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ProQuest databases

Guide to using Proquest databases

Advanced Search: Command Line Search

The advanced search gives you an option of a searching a number of different database record fields, such as title, author and subject. However, there are also additional fields you can search using field codes, for example AF for Author Affiliation. The Command Line Search has an interface that allows you to build up a search using field codes and combine them with the Boolean operators AND, OR and NOT, proximity operators or numberical operators (such as greater than, for publication dates).

The Command Line search can be accessed from the Advanced Search screen. To add items to your search:

  • Click the select field drop down and select the field code you want.
  • Enter your search terms inside the brackets next to the field code and select the operator you want to connect that term to the next.
  • Continue adding until you have completed the search you want to carry out, for example  AU(Smith) OR AU(Jones). 

Proquest command search select field dropdown menu options

You can also use these field codes to type out your search in the Basic or Advanced Search interfaces, though you need to be careful to ensure there are no gaps between the field code and the brackets.

It's also possible to combine some field codes and these can be used in the Command Search or the Advanced or Basic Search. However if you're using Command Search you need to manually delete the spaces and additional brackets or type in manually as it will add them to the search screen as two separate field codes.

The following field codes can be combined:

  • TIAB: searching in either the title or the abstract. e.g TIAB("climate change") searches that term in any of those fields.
  •  TIABSU: searching in the title, abstract or subject field.

Both of these must be added in that order, i.e. ABTI does not work. This can be useful as it's not possible to search both those fields simultaneously in the advanced search field drop down menu.

You can also combine multiple field codes with a comma, e.g. TI, REF to search in the title and references field.